Dispute logo



Downtown Superior Court Small Claims - San Jose, CA

Courthouse in Santa Clara County, CA

Last updated at 2022-05-24T21:26:24.700Z

Important information

Courthouse info


191 North 1st Street, San Jose CA 95113

Hours of operation

The hours of operation for the Santa Clara County Downtown Superior Court are Monday-Thursday from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m and Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

Court fees

Up to $100

Contact info

Clerk phone number

(408) 882-2100

Mailing Address

191 North 1st Street, San Jose CA 95113

General info

Court website

Filing info

Average days to process

2-10 business days

Small claims info

Small claims website

Other people can make choices that result in undesirable things happening to us. They often make things right on their own. Else, we might have to take legal action to make it happen. 

What Types of Cases Can Be Filed?

What you can sue for in small claims is limited to civil situations in which damage is done, or terms of an agreement are being broken. For example, a court could order a landlord to repair the property or compensate a tenant if they had to pay for repairs the landlord neglected. 

The maximum dollar-value that can be handled in small claims is $10,000 for individuals and sole proprietorships, or $5,000 for any other form of business.

How to File in Small Claims Court

Send a Demand Letter

It is necessary to communicate with the defendant that you demand payment. This form of communication is also known as a demand letter, and it is essential to send one before filing in court.

Many cases are resolved through strongly worded demand letters. However, it is also advantageous to send you a letter on professional letterhead. Online services like Dispute offer help in writing a demand letter. Depending on the package you purchase, you can either have a professional write the entire letter, or use our DIY services and write it yourself.

Next, you'll have to send the demand letter. Postage, a printer, and access to a mailbox can be a hassle to find. With Dispute's services, you can send your letter with a click.

Fi‎lling out a Statement of Claim

After sending a demand letter, the next step is filling out a Statement of Claim. This is the official state small claims form. For this form, you'll need the following information:

  1. Reason for the lawsuit
  2. Claim amount ($)
  3. Name and address of the person/business that is being sued

If you are suing a business, you need to look up the certificate of doing business. If you do not live in the City of New York and want to sue a party within the City of NY, you can file by mail. Make sure you fill out the form corresponding to the county where the defendant lives, works or does business.

These forms can get tricky, and mistakes prevent your case from filing. So doing research is essential.

Experts at Dispute file paperwork daily, and a full support team can help you find answers to your questions. Check out our package options for filing with us - you can choose different services based on your budget and needs.

What to Expect for Court Hearings

Small claims is designed to be a court process that is simplified enough for people to handle matters themselves. Let’s cover the basics.

You file the initial paperwork with the Court, which will then issue a court date 30-70 days out, depending on the county of residence of the person being sued. This time is best used to gather solid evidence as best you can.

How to Prepare for Court

Bring any evidence to help the judge determine that the other person is responsible for the damage done or action needed. This can include: 

  • Any written contracts;
  • Receipts;
  • Letters, Emails, Texts, etc.;
  • Estimates, Repair Orders, etc.;
  • Photographs or Videos;
  • Canceled Checks, Account Statements, etc.;
  • Advertisements, Warranties, or Guarantees; or
  • Other documents.

When you get to Court, you will present your side of the case. This is your opportunity to explain how the other person is responsible for the situation. The best way to present the information is in the order things happened. If the Judge asks questions, answer exactly what the Judge asks - no more, no less. Save elaborations for the end.

The Judge will give the other person a chance to tell their side of the story and present their evidence. According to the law, the Judge will ask each side questions as needed to determine who is at fault.

The Judge will likely not give the decision at the hearing. The Court will mail the decision, usually a few weeks to two months later.

Helpful to know

Judge info

The presiding judge is the Honorable Christine Copeland. Copeland is a graduate of the Santa Clara University School of Law. Before being appointed to the bench, she worked in the family law and self-help department of the Santa Clara County Superior Court. Copeland has been on the bench since 2008.

Parking info

There are 11 parking garages and parking spots in downtown San Jose that are open to visitors. Note that all these public parking locations are timed and paid.

Busiest time

The busiest times of day at the Santa Clara County Downtown Superior Court are the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 10:00 a.m.

Transit direction

If taking public transit to the Santa Clara Downtown Superior Court, Valley Transportation Authority provides lines and routes in the direction of the courthouse and downtown San Jose. For more information about the lines and routes provided by the Valley Transportation Authority, go to the following url: https://www.vta.org/

Driving direction

The courthouse is located in downtown San Jose, specifically at the intersection of NE 1st St. and E St. James St. If driving from E Santa Clara St., turn on NE 1st St. If driving on E St. John St., also turn on NE 1st St.

Food nearby

If in need of a meal before or after entering the courthouse, stop by Tostadas, where tacos, burritos, and burgers are sold. Located on E Santa Clara St., Tostadas is a four minute drive or 14 minute walk from the Downtown Superior Courthouse. Additionally, Curry On is a an Indian restaurant that serves classic Indian dishes. Also located on E Santa Clara St., Curry On is a four minute drive or 12 minute walk from the Downtown Superior Courthouse. If in search of just a quick cup of coffee, Roy's Station Coffee and Tea is on Jackson St. andn just a 4-5 minute drive from the courthouse.

Related articles

How to find the right courthouse for your small claims case

Knowing where to file can be tough. Although you may be tempted to choose the courthouse closest to you, your case may not be accepted there.

· 5 min read